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Cornwall Council (19 015 762)

Category : Other Categories > Elections and electoral register

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 20 Dec 2019

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: The Ombudsman cannot investigate Mrs X’s complaint that the Council did not arrange for her to be a proxy voter as it is outside his legal remit.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Mrs X, complains the Council failed to arrange for her to vote by proxy on behalf of her mother.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
  2. We cannot investigate a complaint where the body complained about is not responsible for the issue being raised. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(1), as amended)
  3. Returning Officers for elections act in their own capacity, not as officers of a local authority. (Representation of the People Act 1983, sections 23(2))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered what Mrs X said in her complaint.

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What I found

  1. Mrs X complains the Council failed to arrange for her to vote by proxy on behalf of her mother.
  2. The Returning Officer is responsible for the organisation of elections and in doing this works in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the Council. Because of this, we cannot investigate.

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Final decision

  1. My decision is that the Ombudsman cannot investigate as he has no legal remit to investigate the organisation of elections.

Investigator’s final decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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